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Since Mar 14, 2020 I Set Foot in a Public Library Today for First Time

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发表于 8-5-2020 11:15:27 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
At Woburn Public Library (WPL), of Woburn, Massachusetts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woburn,_Massachusetts
(a city "9 miles (14 km) north of Boston. * * * Woburn got its name from Woburn, Bedfordshire" in England)

(1) First I digress.
(a) City of Woburn, Massachusetts is pronounced woo-burn, where the first vowel is the same as the verb loot.
(b) Yet, Village of Woburn in Bedfordshire, England (whose tourist spot is Woburn Abbey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woburn_Abbey
) has the first vowel pronounced ou, same as the vowel of the adjective low.  

Pronunciation of Woburn in England:
* Woburn Abbey
https://www.oxfordlearnersdictio ... nglish/woburn-abbey
* David Ross, Woburn, Bedfordshire; History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation. Britain Express, undated
https://www.britainexpress.com/c ... shire/az/woburn.htm
(no pronunciation offered/ "The village was first recorded in AD 969. Its name comes from a combination of the Saxon words 'wo' meaning crooked and 'burn' meaning a stream. So Woburn literally means 'crooked stream'. The village was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086")

People in Woburn, Massachusetts do not know that its namesake in England is pronounced differently. Naturally they do not know why there is such a difference (in pronunciation of the first vowel).
(2) To arrive at Woburn, Massachusetts, from Boston, I have to first take a subway in Boston, and then take a bus. This is my first time to visit Woburn. But the long trip, about 80 minutes one way, is worth it -- to set foot in a library is heavenly.

(3) I am a capitalist. WPL's reopening is the prime example of capitalism at work. See
Christopher Huffaker, Woburn Public Library To Reopen Aug 3 Amid Labor Battle. Patch.com, July 17, 2020.
https://patch.com/massachusetts/ ... 3-amid-labor-battle
(a) Patch (website)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_(website)
(2007- ; based in New York City)
(b) WPL is the only public library to admit the public to use its computers. (Since July 11, 2020, Milton, Massachusetts -- a town on the southern border of Boston -- has admitted the public, 20 persons at a time, for 30-minute inside visits to pick books from shelves but not to use computers. All other public libraries in Massachusetts at most allow the public to select books from online catalog, make an appointment, and make the contactless curbside pickup, weeks after Massachusetts governor specifically so permits (curbside pickup). Massachusetts governor has not allowed people inside a public library. And I do not know whether the governor or the city/town has the authority to reopen a the latter's libraries for computer use.)  
(c) WPL has a big banner in the front lawn to advertise its reopening on Aug 3.

A visitor has to ign a book, presumably to impress city officials. WPL offers no newspapers or magazines currently ("because we can not quarantine newspapers"). Libraries in Massachusetts which do the contactless curbside pickup quarantine the returned books for 72 hours. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States, initially recommended wiping of surfaces with disinfectants, but does not deem surface a great any more. However, somehow Americans continue cleaning surfaces.)

Presently WPL opens 9 am to 9 om Monday through Saturday in summer -- the same as before Covid-19. Nonetheless, in the eopening, WPL closes one hour each day of the reopening, to clean the surfaces.

At any given time WPL allows 73 persons inside the library, including staff of 10. Twenty persons may visit WPL in an hour, but only a handful of persons stay to use the computers. Even WPL lays down a line of markers six feet apart in front of library entrance, there is no line for admission.  


(4) I have been homeless. Libraries are the only place I can access a computer, hence the Web. (During Covid-19, FedEx shutdown it computer banks, which are too costly for me to rent.) Without libraries during Covid-19, a homeless person lacks access to a scanner, a copier or newspapers. Another way to put it, computer use in a library is by business model, which suddenly became useless when a pandemic hits.
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